Peterhead have much to be positive about, despite their recent good form coming to a shuddering halt at Recreation Park last Tuesday night.
Rearranged due to the recent Scottish Cup tie against Celtic, the Blue Toon travelled to Clackmannanshire on the back of a thrilling comeback win over Queen’s Park and four straight league wins in total.
There were three changes from the side that had beaten the Spiders 2-1, Craig Tully and Bryan Deasley dropping to the bench while the recent loan signing from Dundee, Graham Webster, missed out altogether.
Scott Ross stepped back into the defence, while Dave Ross and Graeme Sharp also returned to the starting eleven.
But the hosts started the better of the two sides, with Stevie Masterton’s long-range strike fizzing wide of the upright.
Dave Ross had the chance to open the scoring for the Blue Toon after just 4 minutes as he latched onto Rory McAllister’s cutback, but blazed over the crossbar.
Kevin Cawley was denied by Paul Jarvie before the home side raced into a 12th minute lead.
Peterhead failed to defend a deep free kick and, at the back post, Graeme Holmes forced the ball back across goal for Ben Gordon to turn home from close range.
They had an opportunity to double their lead when Cawley won a free kick 20 yards out, but on-loan St Johnstone striker Stevie May was well off target with his effort.
Peterhead began to get a foothold in the game, but only Ryan Strachan’s left-foot effort tested Scott Bain in the opening half-hour.
But the goalkeeper was helpless when Peterhead drew level ten minutes from the interval.
Rory McAllister turned cleverly on the left corner of the penalty area, and drove an unstoppable shot high past the goalkeeper for his 16th goal of the season.
The boost of the goal was short-lived though, as Peterhead were behind again just two minutes later.
Again a set-piece was their undoing, this time a Masterton corner only cleared as far as Mark Docherty on the edge of the area, and he thumped home a stunning left-foot volley.
The Wasps started the second half brightly too, with May hitting just over, and he was to make a more telling contribution after 65 minutes.
Another Masterton corner forced Jarvie to punch away from under his own crossbar, and May was perfect placed to slam the ball into the net from close range.
But Peterhead pushed for a way back into the game, and only a world class double-save from Bain prevented them pulling a goal back.
Moments after Scott Ross had headed off the post, Bain could only parry Strachan’s shot from outside the area.
Substitute Dennis Wyness pounced on the rebound and seemed certain to score, only for Bain to bounce back onto his feet and dive low to his right to turn Wyness’ effort round the post.
Jim McInally had thrown men forward but only Davie Donald’s late shot over the bar put Bain’s goal under further threat as the Wasps held on for a vital three points as they look to win promotion back to Division Two at the first attempt.
Peterhead remain in seventh place despite the postponement of Saturday’s trip to Berwick Rangers, and McInally’s men will host Stranraer this coming Saturday as they look to bounce back.
PETERHEAD: Jarvie, Donald, McBain, S. Ross (Tully, 78), Macdonald, Strachan, Sharp (Wyness, 68), Redman, McAllister, Bavidge, D. Ross (Deasley, 54). Subs not used: Davidson, Jellema (gk)